Ice is on it's way to melting more than last year.
From Tigervision Media:
Nortwest Passage (top) and Amundsen Northwest Passage
Sea-ice coverage levels in the Arctic are approaching the record low of September 2007. Since the melting season has not reached its end yet, scientists of the European Space Agency are expecting to see a record low in 2008 and two passages being completely ice free by mid-September...
The trend of shrinking sea-ice coverage will continue this year, according to Heinrich Miller from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany. Analyzing data collected by the Envisat satellite between early June and mid-August 2008 showed that current ice coverage has already reached the second absolute minimum since observations from space began 30 years ago and a new record low could be achieved by mid-September, when the ice coverage is expected to be increasing again...
The direct route through the Northwest Passage is currently almost free of ice, Miller said. The indirect route, called the Amundsen Northwest Passage, has been passable for almost a month. The scientists confirmed the satellite data by sending their ice breaking vessel “Polarstern” from Iceland to the Canadian Basin through the Northwest Passage this year.